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Sunday, May 29, 2016

English Language Arts

English Language Arts: Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty learning to read despite intelligence, motivation and education.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) refers to Dyslexia as, “a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”  Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. Also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).


 What are the strengths and difficulties experienced by students with Dyslexia?


Difficulties or Red Flags

Average to above average intelligence

Learning to speak

Creative and strong verbal skills

Learning letters and their sounds (blending and segmenting)

Logical thinker

Organizing written and spoken language

Can easily grasp new concepts when presented orally

Memorizing number facts

Excellent oral comprehension

Reading quickly enough to comprehend

Artistic or musical

Reading with fluency and automaticity

Solves puzzles and work in 3D

Persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments




Learning a foreign language

Inclination to think outside of the box

Correctly solving math operations

Understands abstract ideas


Not all students who have difficulties with these skills have Dyslexia. Formal testing of reading, language, and writing skills is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of suspected Dyslexia.


What type of reading instruction best serves students with Dyslexia?


As students with Dyslexia have difficulty with phonological processing and word recognition effective reading instruction must include

explicit, systematic, cumulative and multi-sensory instruction in:

·      Phonology

·      Sound/Symbol Association

·      Syllable Instruction

·      Morphology

·      Semantics

·      Syntax

Students must also have instruction in vocabulary and comprehension.




What interventions does APS provide to serve students with Dyslexia?


APS offers the following interventions for students with Dyslexia that are available at all schools.



·      Phono-Graphix Methodology

·      Orton Gillingham Methodology

·      SpellRead Program

·      My Virtual Reading Coach Program

·      Read Naturally Program (fluency)



·      Orton Gillingham Methodology

·      My Virtual Reading Coach Program

·      Read Naturally Program (fluency)

For more information on these and other APS interventions please visit http://www.apsva.us/Page/27758Resources

Where can I find additional information about Dyslexia?


International Dyslexia Association (IDA): http://www.interdys.org


Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know:



AIM-VA:  http://aimva.org/


All Kinds of Minds: Understanding Differences in Learning: http://www.allkindsofminds.org


Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD): http://www.cldinternational.org


Learning Ally:  http://www.learningally.org-


Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA): www.LDAAmerica.org


LD Online:  www.ldonline.org



University of Michigan Dyslexia Help:



Signs and Symptoms:



Reading Remedy: http://www.reading-remedy.com/dyslexiawarningsigns.html

Advantanges: http://www.mariannesunderland.com/2012/08/13/10-little-known-advantages-of-dyslexica/

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity http://dyslexia.yale.edu/Technology.html


What are some classroom accommodations and supports that can be provided to students with Dyslexia?


·      Allow student to read independently; Avoid asking students to read aloud in front of others

·      Read aloud and provide visual supports

·     Provide Alternative reading materials

·      Reduce the amount of required reading assignments using grade level material and/or provide audio supports

·     Provide extended time for assignments

·      Use Audiobooks

·      Use Electronic texts  (E-books)

·      Allow and use text to speech software

·      Provide Access to the APS Library Digital Collections: http://www.apsva.us//site/Default.aspx?PageID=22176

·      Provide Access to the Arlington County Public Library Digital Collections: http://library.arlingtonva.us/collections/ecollection/

·      Provide Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM VA)*

*Talk to your Special Education Coordinator at your school to learn more about AIM VA.



·      Provide copies of notes and materials to reduce the need to copy from the board

·      Avoid marking students down for spelling errors

·      Allow the use of speech to text software

·      Provide note-taking assistance and partial outlines

·      Provide graphic organizers or other structural aids for written assignments

·      Provide Extended time

Last Modified on October 18, 2015